Sharing. Are you doing this enough?

I grew up with two siblings, and being the oldest, I learned early on that I was expected to share things with them. Sharing wasn’t something I ever thought much about, and it was something I just did. Fast forward to being an adult, and at some point, I realized that not everyone was on board with the same concept of sharing that I was used to.

My first awareness of the fact that not everyone was in the spirit of sharing, occurred when I really needed the person to share some information with me. I asked without considering that the answer could be no, and when I heard the word no, I was surprised. Actually, a bit shocked. I asked the person why they were not willing to share the information with me, and their answer wasn’t what I expected to hear. Their response was that they didn’t feel like sharing the information.

Of course, this person could have shared the information I was asking about, but they deliberately withheld it from me. After this happened, I thought about what would make someone do this? Was it out of spite, jealously or was it a control thing? It turns out it was a control thing, and I did eventually get the person to share the information with me, but this was a good lesson for me.

The best lesson I learned from this experience was that there wasn’t a good reason for the person to withhold the information from me, other than that they could do so. I also realized they may not have had the same experience I had growing up, and which when I shared with others, I felt really great doing so. I can’t tell you that this person felt great or any different when they finally did share the information with me, but I’ll never really know the answer.  However, a small part of me is hopeful that the experience of the person releasing the information to me made them feel better.

I can’t speak for others, but for me personally, I always feel a sense of pride and joy when I can share information with others. The expression that it is better to give than to receive resonates with me, and perhaps you have had this same experience?

As business executive, I came up with a system for determining which people within the organization would be willing to share and help me and others. It was a relatively simple system, and it was always uncanny how accurate it was. My system involved asking a person to share something with me, whether it was advice, experience or perhaps a physical item. If they were willing to share with me, I knew that they would be open to doing so again. If there was any reluctance or hesitation in doing so, I knew the person fell into one of two categories.

The first category was that if someone was willing to share, they were a confident person, and didn’t feel that they would be negatively impacted by the experience. The second category consisted of people who were reluctant or who didn’t share, and I categorized them as someone who thought that their “power” or influence would be diminished if they shared something. Typically, information in this case. The people who didn’t share came across as being less confident, and over time I noticed a pattern with both of the two categories.

The pattern was that the people who were comfortable with sharing progressed much faster and to higher levels in any measurable scenario. Meanwhile, the people who were not categorized as “sharers”, were typically stalling out in their careers, and were also less satisfied in the role they were in. Of course, there were exceptions to the pattern I was seeing, but there was a very strong correlation of this one factor of being a “sharing” person which positively influenced their career and the opportunities they encountered.

Worth noting is that when you begin to study leaders, you will often find that the common thread between them is their willingness to help others. This typically means they are willing to share their experience, network, time and information. They also often do this without hesitation. Have you encountered this type of leader or sports coach?

If you are not someone who currently falls into the category of being a “sharing” type of person, here are some suggestions for you to consider “test driving” to help you lean towards being in this category if you aspire to do so.

  • Without being asked, offer to share something you value with a person that wouldn’t expect you to do so. It could be a physical item or something intangible, but that would be perceived as being valuable to the person you are going to share it with.
  • If you are not accustomed to sharing, you will need to begin slowly, as it will feel very awkward and potentially intimidating for you to do so. Beginning slowly might involve donating your time to a charity to help them with something they are working on.
  • Set a goal for yourself of sharing one thing every day for two weeks, and keep track of what you are sharing. At the end of the two weeks, look back on what you have shared, and think about how it feels to have shared what you have with others.
  • The concept of sharing can take practice, and it does get much easier to share with others, and you will be happy to know that it doesn’t have to take a long time to reach a comfort level you can’t imagine being at currently.  
  • Many of us have too much “stuff”. Instead of sharing it with someone, take it to the next level and give it to someone who could benefit from having it more than you can.
  • Every one of us encountered a teacher, and I’m sure that you could name your favorite one. What was it about your favorite teach that you could mimic and teach someone else by borrowing the attribute about them that you admired?

As the year ends, I am thinking about how amazing our world would be if everyone was able to share with others, or at a different level than they are presently at. Please accept my challenge today of sharing something with another person today, and I’ll look forward to hearing about what you shared, and the outcome of the sharing experience.

TAGS: #Business #Leadership #Rolemodel #Sharing #Howtoshare #Whysharingisimportant #Careerdevelopment #Sportscoach #Coach #Aspirations #Inspiration #Motivation #Leader #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment #Teams #HRleader #Talentdevelopment #CEO #Manager #Management #Salesmanagement

Why work at a company vs for yourself?

I hear people, often millennials talking about wanting to strike out on their own to work for themselves. Most of the time the reason they site for wanting to do this is because they would rather work on behalf of something they can be passionate about, versus simply collecting a paycheck. When I hear this, I generally think about two things. The first is will they actually have what it takes to do this and be successful? The second thing is, have they thought through what they are saying to a really deep level of understanding and appreciating what they are bargaining for?

The benefits of working for a company can really stack up much higher in the positive column than you might think they would, especially if you start to list them. The biggest positive attribute of working for a company is a consistent paycheck. This would be followed by your healthcare/dental coverage being paid for at some percentage level, paid vacation, sick days, holidays and potentially other company benefits such as tuition reimbursement, matching 401K plans and daycare services to name a few.

Other benefits such as daily social interaction if you are in an office, generally free coffee or snacks at most mid to large size companies, and access to a wealth of experience and other resources you take for granted such as printers, the IT staff and communication services all just steps away from where you are sitting.

When you work for a company, they are also taking care of a myriad of other business services you might not be taking into consideration on a daily basis: Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Human Resources, Operations to name a few of the foundational company departments which make a business run. Legal and contract work is sometimes taken care of in-house, but is sometimes outsourced depending on the requirements of the company. Other big ticket items such as the rent, general office operating expenses, sales tax and benefits payments are also overlooked when peering through the vail of striking out on your own.

The first advice I give to people who want to strike out on their own, is to sit down and draft a business plan. It does not have to be an incredibly in-depth business plan, but it should cover the essential elements of what it will take to start up and run the company, with the goal of reaching profitability within a set amount of time.

The second piece of advice I give is to have the person make sure they have at least one year, possibly two, of income reserved before striking out on their own. You could split the difference and have 18 months of cash on hand, but this will be different funding than what you will utilize as operating capital to run the business. You will need to determine if you are going to borrow money to start up your business, or whether you will be self-funding it. Generally, when you self-fund it, you can do so via either family and friends investing in you, or via crowd funding sourcing options such as Fundable which is exclusively for business, Indiegogo a global fundraising site, Plum Alley which is specifically for women and Tilt which has fees cheaper than most other crowdfunding sites. 

Providing you have a solid business plan, a product or service which solves a problem and that people truly need and will pay for; I’m going to assume you have done the research to support your business concept. You will also need access to business advisors who can help you navigate through the start-up obstacles you will encounter, and enough cash to help fund your business.

Now, I challenge you to do one last thing. Honestly think long and hard about your answers to the questions below. If after reviewing your responses you are still game for striking out on your own, then I wish you the best of luck and success in your new adventure. Here are the questions: 

  • What is really driving me to want to strike out on my own?
  • Have others told me I should become an entrepreneur, or does the appeal of this option seem irresistible and something I am 100% compelled to try and be successful, or potentially fail at, and be okay with doing so?
  • Do I have a backup plan or a timeframe in mind in terms of how long I can “test” whether this concept of being a business owner is the right option for me at this present time?
  • What is my definition of success as defined and outlined in my business plan? Is it realistic?
  • Is this something I have always wanted to really do, and believe this point in time is the best time to carry out my plan?
  • What will the impact of my decision to strike out on my own have on others who depend on me either emotionally or financially?
  • Am I prepared and have I ever really had to truly sacrifice just about everything I own or have worked for to make being a business owner a reality?
  • How risk adverse am I on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most risk adverse?

If after reviewing your responses to the questions above you are still convinced you want to start-up your business, then roll up your sleeves, dig into the process and go for it!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of two business books (e.g.,  Wisdom Whisperer, Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer), and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Different is not bad.

When you think about it, who is really not different? The truth is we are all unique, and that’s what makes our lives so interesting. Sure, there are times when conformity might have its place, but my opinion is that this is a lower percentage of time for it to be required. In fact, during times when people haven’t complied with conformity is when most of our inventions have been created, or pharmaceutical remedies produced.

The phrase “thinking outside of the box” is one of the concepts related to being different. When the expression is stated, it’s a direct request to ask people to not conform. My professional expertise before I pivoted my career focus had been in marketing, and the majority of the time in my former profession I spent thinking about how not to conform. In fact, I was always challenging myself and my teams with what we could do differently that would make a positive impact on the business. I loved thinking and working this way, and for me, this was incredibly satisfying.

Fortunately, the profession I spent the first two decades of my life in supported thinking differently, and was embraced and encouraged. My early and informal training as a marketing professional took shape in how I expressed myself with the clothing I wore. This was much to my Mom’s dismay, as she saw me walk out the door each day, even in elementary school with the most colorful and non-matching items I could find. I used to challenge myself with how creative I could become over time with my unique outfits.

When I was in high school, brightly colored clothing and accessories were not the norm. However, I happened to be ahead of my time from a fashion sense, as I was on the early side of what became known as the “preppy-look”. I loved this look, and embraced it with over the top ways of adding to experimenting with how I would put items together in what I referred to as my “collection”. Surprisingly you would have thought heading into fashion would have appealed to me. It did, and it didn’t. I loved the design aspect, but not the business part of it.

Both my Grandfather and Dad worked for a company that no longer exists, Polaroid. When I think back about how them working there influenced me, it did so by having me embrace being different as a good thing.  As I was thinking about what contributed to this, the simple explanation is that I was probably photographed more as a child than most people in their entire life. The reason for this had to do with the fact that both my Grandfather and Dad were testing their products on me. My Grandfather was inventing cameras and film, and my Dad was buying the materials to make them. Part of their jobs, especially my Grandfather was to experiment with the cameras and films to see which ones could be marketed.

So, having to see myself in photos for years and not feel judged by the way I looked was truly freeing. It also contributed to giving me the confidence as a young person, to know how I looked, and to embrace it without any self or others judgement. Little did I know at the time how this would lead me into my first career, and then the one I am presently in.

With the profession I am currently in, it satisfies my need for embracing being different perfectly. Why? Because I understand the statistics that coming across someone who might be similar to me has the odds of 1 and 33 million. I love this, as it fully supports my thinking about how important being different is, and that it’s not a bad thing. In fact, one of the things I like most about the fact people are all so unique, is how to teach them to embrace and fully capitalize on understanding their talents.

Part of my professional work includes teaching people how to have a new language for how to express who they truly are to others. More importantly, when someone tries to use anther persons talents against them, I help that individual know how to explain that in fact what they are being criticized for, is in fact a strength of theirs. A strength that is perhaps misunderstood, misinterpreted or mis-applied where it should be. Has this ever happened to you?

Having confidence can play a big role in how comfortable people are with being different. The more confident people are, the easier it is for them to express themselves without being concerned about what other people think. It’s incredibly freeing when you have confidence, especially an abundance of it. When you do, or even if you have a small amount, being able to embrace either being different, or your differences to others can provide you with a sense of satisfaction I hope you have felt, or will feel in your life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Coaching isn’t therapy. It’s people product development.

I was thinking about how to simply describe what I do professionally recently. In the simplest form, I would tell you that I am a “People Farmer”. Yes, this may sound odd, but since I love analogies, this one really resonated with me. Why? Because like people, farming is complex and multi-dimensional.

Although I have not spoken directly to any farmers recently, I would imagine they take great pride in seeing their work come to life. I’m thinking mainly of farmers who plant and grow things. If you have ever planted something, you would likely agree with me that there is immense satisfaction in seeing something you grew from a seed, and then turn into something that takes on a completely different appearance.

When I think about the work I do with people, I have often considered taking a photo of them when I first start working with them, and then one after I have been coaching them for a while. Do you think they would see a difference in how they look? Actually, I do. As a matter of fact, I have a number of people and teams I have worked with that look quite differently after I have been working with them. Although I am not a personal trainer who would have the benefit of seeing their client literally reshape their body, there are aspects of how people who are developed via coaching look differently. Hold onto this thought.

Consider someone you know who has lots of confidence. Do they project confidence in their photos? Most of the time I’m sure they do. How about people who are generally known to be happy? Can you tell from their photos whether they are having a really great day and are happy? Yes, most of the time, even if they have a more serious expression on their face.

My point is that with coaching, and like farming, there is equally great care and focus applied to the development of both. Like farming, the intention of coaching is to help the individual  develop what is being focused on to go beyond and become stronger and more capable than they are when coaching was initiated. Developing people takes time. As a coach, you need to be able to focus on finding multiple ways to draw and bring forth the talents of those who you are coaching. It’s not easy, but in my humble opinion, it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can humanly have.

As a parent, I look at my role as both a care taker, as well as a coach. They are different roles, and both are critically important. For some, both roles come naturally, and I believe they both come naturally to me. It doesn’t mean I am the best parent in the world, it just means I thoroughly enjoy both roles immensely. In full disclosure, I rely solely upon my instincts to guide me in my roles versus having read countless books on each topic. I’m not saying I would not have benefitted from having read books on these topics, I’m simply acknowledging I did not feel the need to rely upon them.

We are now living in a time when more people are classifying themselves as Coaches. I think this is wonderful! As I have written about before, I strongly support the philosophy that we all need coaches and people to mentor us . Yes, these can in fact be quite different types of people, and they might also use different methods to work with us, but the end result is that we will benefit from working with each of them.

Do I have a Coach? I sure do. As a matter of fact, I have a handful of them at any point in time. Some of them are formal Coaches, but most are informal ones that I consult with periodically. All of my Coaches are different types, and I am constantly learning new ways from them to apply and enhance my development expertise to be applied to the people and teams (e.g., Sports and Work) I engage with.

If you or your team think having one Coach is enough, have you considered what it would be like to have a Coach who focuses solely on developing you and your talents differently? Perhaps in a way your current coach hasn’t been trained on how to do so? Please give this some thought. Also consider whether engaging with a Coach who focuses on developing you or your teams’ innate talents, with the goal of taking them from great to superior, would be of value to you or your team.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Impact. What’s yours?

Each day every one of us has an opportunity to positively impact the life of someone else. Yet, when I see some people’s actions, I am disappointed with how many people miss or are not aware of the ability to do so. Consider thinking about this today, and some of the actions you may have taken. If you could, would you want to apply a do over to any of them?

Being consciously aware of our actions, and thinking about how we always have a choice about which direction to apply our impact is critical. So, why don’t more people seemingly do this? Is it because no one gave them permission to help versus hurt someone with their impact? Perhaps the modeling they had growing up wasn’t constructive, and they are mimicking what they witnessed? Or, possibly they are not aware of their destructive choices and actions, and the outcome of them.

Yes, it may seem ridiculous that some people are unaware of their impact, but I guarantee you that this is happening more than we might like to admit. What is contributing to more people having a negative impact on others? Many factors, and ones we are all contending with. Let’s start with an easy one. Social media. I picked this one, as you are hopefully positively benefitting from the impact of it by reading this article.

For some, it appears they consciously or perhaps unconsciously leverage the power of social media as a weapon, versus a gift. I prefer to have the tool of social media work favorably for others. That’s my way of positively having an impact on a global audience.

Let’s take the concept of impact into the work place. Or, for those of you who love sports, let’s apply this to your favorite sports platform. In either scenario, there are numerous opportunities for both the leaders of each scenario to widely and favorably impact their groups every day. The easiest way for them to do this is to verbally or in writing let their team members know they appreciate the work they are doing. As you know this doesn’t cost anything to do, and most would refer to this as praise. When praise is authentically given, it has an enormous positive impact on others.

So, what are some of the other ways people can have a positive impact on those they interact with? Here are some suggestions to get you started, and moving in the direction of potentially counter acting any negative impact you unknowingly are causing.

  • Everyone has a degree of empathy. Some more than others. However, regardless of the amount you have, if you notice someone is having a tough day or moment, tell them you are aware of this. Also, ask them if there is anything you can do to help them.
  • Giving someone an opportunity to be listened to, and truly heard can be enough to have a positive impact.
  • Carve out more time to help someone. It could be as little as 5 minutes, but it could make a world of difference in their lives, or in the work they are doing, or with something they are trying to master in the sports realm.
  • Look around. Do you see who might need some additional support? If so, then either directly offer to help them, or talk about who else can be involved with doing this. You don’t always have to take on the full responsibility of helping someone. There are times when it is better to also involve someone else in the effort of doing this.

Let’s assume you are having a positive impact on others on a daily or regular basis. What if you are dealing with someone in your life, on your team or in your workplace that is having a negative impact on others? Here are some suggestions for how to contend with them, and to potentially turn them around. At a minimum, to make an attempt to do so.

  • Ironically, many who are not having a desired impact on others are often unaware of their behavior. Yes, it will take courage, and perhaps more than one conversation, but someone needs to confront this individual. If you are in a workplace and work at a company who has a Human Resource (HR) professional, seek out their assistance or obtain guidance from them prior to your conversation. If you do not have access to an HR person, Google will be your best friend to provide advice on how best to initiate the conversation with the individual, and what questions to ask them.
  • On or coaching a sports team? The common thread between sports and work scenarios is communication. Strong and clear communication with someone who is having a non-desirable impact is the first step in changing this behavior. In other words, having the person acknowledge and then understand via talking how their impact is not having the type of outcome they think it is having. Will this be an easy conversation? No. Will it have an immediate positive impact? Yes, and no, but the first goal will be to get the person to a neutral place and in a non-judgmental frame of mind to have the eventual desired positive outcome from having them acknowledge their negative impact.

Since I always like to challenge both myself and others, my request is for you to keep a running tally (e.g., positive or negative impact) for a minimum of a day, ideally for a week, on your work place or sports team interactions. The goal will be to help you to determine whether you are having more positive or negative outcomes on others. You know which category you want to be in, so go make this happen.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One